With Ben Affleck now officially done with the DC Extended Universe, there are a lot of rumors circulating about who Warner Bros. might be looking at to replace him for Matt Reeves' upcoming Batman film. Early reports indicate the studio is looking to cast a "familiar face" and a relatively young actor. Among those Warner Bros. may be eyeing for the role is Twilight and Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson.
Early rumors of Pattinson potentially picking up where Affleck left off were met with scorn and mockery. After all, actors including -- but not limited to -- Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Gosling, Jack O'Connell and Jon Hamm are also among those rumored for the role. However, given the opportunity, Pattinson would make a terrific, perhaps even ideal, Caped Crusader.
He's More Than Just Twilight
Much of the backlash centers around Pattinson's infamy for his role as Edward Cullen in the Twilight series. I'm not going to try and justify the ways of Twilight to man; after all, both the books and the films have deep problems with misogyny and sexism, among other issues. Pattinson himself also doesn't seem to actually have much love for the series or his character.
Actors take bad roles. Michael Keaton has Jack Frost, Val Kilmer has Alexander, Christian Bale has Terminator Salvation and George Clooney has Batman and Robin. Let's not forget Ben Affleck's turns in Gigli -- a movie that holds an impressive 6% on Rotten Tomatoes -- and Daredevil. Some people definitely liked those movies, but the general consensus was pretty negative. However, all of those actors have also starred in great, critically-acclaimed films.
Reducing Pattinson to his role in Twilight ignores what is otherwise a pretty solid filmography for a 32-year-old actor. Since Twilight, Pattinson has starred in a number of acclaimed movies, including The Childhood of a Leader, The Lost City of Z and Good Time. He and his films keep winning or getting nominated for prestigious awards. There's no indication that Pattinson is a bad actor. In fact, he's actually a pretty good one.
But there's one role we should really focus in on: Pattinson's turn as billionaire Eric Parker in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis. The actor was praised for his performance in that movie, and the dark, brooding energy he had in Cosmopolis would work nicely for a Batman film, especially if Reeves is approaching the Caped Crusader more as the World's Greatest Detective than as an action hero. The movie needs someone who can play for the quiet, dark moments.
Also, stop talking about Pattinson's physique; it's a disingenuous argument. Height-wise, Pattinson stands at 6'1" compared to Bale's 6'0". He's a little shorter than Affleck (6'4") and a little taller than Val Kilmer (6'0"), George Clooney (5'11") and Michael Keaton (5'9"). Statistically, Pattinson would be the second-tallest live-action Batman.
In terms of muscle, Christian Bale's history with Batman Begins proves an actor can put on a lot of muscle, fast. Bale famously dropped to 121 pounds to play Trevor Reznik in 2004's The Machinist, the movie directly preceding Batman Begins. According to the actor, "I gained too much weight in the run up to Batman Begins. I wasn't the size that [director] Christopher Nolan wanted, so I had to cut down 20 pounds or so just before shooting." Bale went from 121 pounds to Batman, after overshooting the weight his director needed. Although it's probably not medically advised, it's entirely possible, and Pattinson certainly isn't fighting out of that kind of deficit.